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Bananagrams Raises Money for Children with Pediatric Cancer

On June 29, 2012, the I Back Jack Foundation, Inc. http://www.ibackjack.org and Bananagrams®, Inc. http://www.bananagrams.com became official world record holders after receiving the Guinness World Record certificate for last year’s World’s Largest Game of Bananagrams.

530 people simultaneously played Bananagrams and broke the world record for ‘the most people playing a letter tile game’ at Arrowhead High School on November 12, 2011.  This event not only earned spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, but created world record size hope while raising money to fund new, innovative treatments that aim to help kids with pediatric cancer keep winning at the game of life.

There were more than 70,000 Banangrams tiles played on the Arrowhead gym floor by children and families, tables were set up for the young-at-heart world record participants.  At 10:05 a.m., 530 players were officially certified as playing the Bananagrams game.  A box of event materials, notarized documentation, and countless Guinness requirements were sent following the event and after a six-month wait, the new world record has been confirmed beating the old record of set by 250 participants playing Scrabble.

The goal of the Imagine What a Whole Bunch Can Do event was to set a world record while raising money in collaboration with the MACC Fund – Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., to fund a new clinical trial at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin aiming to help kids with pediatric cancer keep winning at the game of life.

The I Back Jack Foundation was created in honor of a young boy named Jack Bartosz, now ten years old, who has been fighting cancer for six years.  The mission of the Foundation is to fund new, innovative treatments to make a difference in the lives of children battling cancer.  Through its efforts, the I Back Jack Foundation has already been instrumental in the funding of three separate clinical trials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.  The Foundation will use proceeds from this event to fund a new trial at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in partnership with the MACC Fund focused on identifying and treating the late effects of current childhood cancer therapies.  The trial will be aimed at making a difference for every child who is treated for cancer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

“Our record breaking event, showed what can happen in the ‘heartland’ when a ‘whole bunch’ gather together to play an educational game like Bananagrams for a wonderful cause,” said Sarah Bartosz, President of the I Back Jack Foundation.  “We are thrilled to have received the official certificate confirming that a world record was set for our world record size event in the name of hope and healing.”

Bananagrams partnered with the I Back Jack Foundation with great enthusiasm.  Every day in the Unites States, nearly 50 school-age children are diagnosed with cancer.  “Breaking the world record was monumental indeed, but we can’t think of a better bunch to have done it with than the I Back Jack Foundation,” said Bananagrams CEO Rena Nathanson, who co-invented the game with her father Abe Nathanson, who lost his own battle with cancer two years ago. “It was a wonderful sight to see the Hartland community gathered around our Bananagrams laughing, smiling, engaging with each other and just having good old fashion fun while raising funds for such an important cause that is so near and dear to our hearts.”

About the I Back Jack Foundation

Sarah and John Bartosz founded the I Back Jack Foundation, a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, in 2006 following the unthinkable diagnosis of their son with neuroblastoma, an aggressive and difficult to treat pediatric cancer.  Jack is a 4th-grader in Hartland, Wisc. and is still being treated for neuroblastoma today. Through its efforts, the I Back Jack Foundation supports the development of clinical trials that children will feel a direct benefit from within a 24-month timeframe.  Since their first fundraising event in 2009, the Foundation has committed $325,000 to support the development of five separate clinical trials from New York to Michigan to Wisconsin.

About Bananagrams

Bananagrams®, Inc., is the family-owned Rhode Island company behind a range of innovative word games, including the international phenomenon BANANAGRAMS – the fast, fun anagram game that will “drive you bananas!”  Currently available in 31 countries and multiple languages, original Bananagrams has spawned digital versions and a series of books.  Bananagrams, Inc. also offers the award-winning Appletters®, Pairs in Pears® and brand-new ZIP-IT® and Fruitominoes®.  All the games feature attractive cloth pouches and need no board, pencil or paper – ideal for children and adults aged seven to 97 who enjoy witty word play, at home or on the go.

For more information about the Guinness World Records please visit http://www.ibackjack.org and on the I Back Jack Foundation Facebook page.

For more information on Bananagrams please visit http://www.bananagrams.com or blog http://www.bananagrams.com/peels or http://www.facebook.com/BananagramsGames, and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/bananagrams.

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